Journal of Consciousness Studies 26 (9-10):34-47 (2019)

Justin Clarke-Doane
Columbia University
Does consciousness exist? In “The Meta-Problem of Consciousness” (MPC) David Chalmers sketches an argument for illusionism, i.e., the view that it does not. The key premise is that it would be a coincidence if our beliefs about consciousness were true, given that the explanation of those beliefs is independent of their truth. In this article, I clarify and assess this argument. I argue that our beliefs about consciousness are peculiarly invulnerable to undermining, whether or not their contents are indubitable or even obvious. However, the reason that they are peculiarly invulnerable to undermining points to a fundamental flaw in modal arguments for dualism.
Keywords consciousness  dualism  debunking  Benacerraf  possibility  necessity of identity  modal  illusionism  mathematics  moral
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Translate to english
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 70,307
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Debunking Arguments for Illusionism About Consciousness.David Chalmers - 2020 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 27 (5-6):258-281.
Intuition-Driven Navigation of the Hard Problem of Consciousness.Krzysztof Sękowski & Wiktor Rorot - 2021 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 13 (1):239-255.
Mathematics and Metaphilosophy.Justin Clarke-Doane - 2022 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Hardest Aspect of the Illusion Problem - and How to Solve It.François Kammerer - 2016 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 23 (11-12):124-139.
Illusionism and the Epistemological Problems Facing Phenomenal Realism.Amber Ross - 2016 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 23 (11-12):215-223.
Meta-Illusionism and Qualia Quietism.Pete Mandik - 2016 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 23 (11-12):140-148.
Précis of Knowledge, Possibility and Consciousness. [REVIEW]John Perry - 2004 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68 (1):172 - 181.
Review: Précis of "Knowledge, Possibility and Consciousness". [REVIEW]John Perry - 2004 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68 (1):172 - 181.
Debunking and Dispensability.Justin Clarke-Doane - 2016 - In Uri D. Leibowitz & Neil Sinclair (eds.), Explanation in Ethics and Mathematics: Debunking and Dispensability. Oxford University Press.
Consciousness and Self-Consciousness.Uriah Kriegel - 2004 - The Monist 87 (2):182-205.
The Normative Challenge for Illusionist Views of Consciousness.Francois Kammerer - 2019 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 6.


Added to PP index

Total views
338 ( #30,670 of 2,507,717 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
23 ( #38,498 of 2,507,717 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes